News & Media

Ducati Trioptions Cup, Round 2 – Oulton Park

May 8, 2019


Here is the round 2 race report from our Chamois sponsored rider, Richard Spencer-Fleet:

Having come home from Silverstone weeks before with very high spirits, the team set off to Oulton park looking to build on what had already been achieved. Having raced Oulton last season, we knew it was a physically demanding track and we struggled with arm pump previously.

The weekend weather was looking very uncertain and Qualifying didn’t go as well as planned. With the riders going onto the track the rain started, drizzling in areas and rain flags all over circuit.  Still having good pace in areas we qualified in 20th and I was keen to save myself and stay firmly focused for the race. Where it counts…

Race 1 – Had a great start from 20th was up into about 15th by turn one. I felt I was on for my first point! But pushing hard and hanging on I started to struggle again with arm pump. Then suddenly, at lodge corner I had a little slide (pictures show it all)  losing valuable positions. Looking down and around the bike I couldn’t see any fluids etc so continued the lap. I then had a slide again and I knew it was time to leave the track ..unfortunately the legend Pete crashed and the race was red flagged finishing in 22nd. Finishing where I did I was disappointed and still unsure for the slides. Tyre pressures checked and whilst in parc ferme we looked over the bike and couldn’t see any evidence of any fluids. Taking the positives from the race I had smashed my PB from previous year by nearly a second! And I was also fastest through the speed traps at clay hill and over the finish line, showing I have the speed, I just need to put it together.

A few hours later I was shown the pictures of the little slide, and we realised there was something wrong. The bike must have overheated and spat all its water out in one gulp. Thus causing the slide. Throughout the night, we stripped and rebuilt the bike and checked everything over in readiness for the warm up session in the morning. The next morning it was raining and we were still prepped to go test the bike, but the session was cancelled. So it was down to the race! Putting in a better time in race 1 allowed us to start from 18th on the grid in the race.

Race 2 – Having yet another great start, I found myself right in the mix into turn one. So far in the mix I found myself on the inside kerb with nowhere to go. Having to roll the throttle and lose some places. We settled into the race, battling it out with some fast riders. The first 3 laps I broke my PB again and felt good apart from lodge. Confidence there was lacking slightly and the riders were just able to gap me. Having put the fast laps in at the beginning I had a substantive lead over the riders behind, so I rode the last few laps with ease. Finishing the race in 21st setting a new PB was not to be grumbled at in this paddock.

Even with the bike and arm issues, I still came away with a smile, new personal bests and held fastest speeds in 2 of 4 sectors (at one point over the weekend). I’m now looking forward to Donington Park on the weekend 25th May.


Spectra Group to attend prestigious Satellite 2019

May 1, 2019


Spectra Group, UK and US-based communications specialists will be delivering full updates on their SlingShot technology and their participation in the US Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE 2019) at Satellite 2019, taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Centre, Washington DC, 6-9th May 2019.  Satellite 2019 is this year’s largest and most important global connectivity technology event, drawing professionals from over 100 countries to Washington DC to access innovations in satellite technology, conduct business with strategic partners and help drive the future of the satellite industry.

Spectra is an internationally renowned specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems. Their US arm, Spectra Group (US) Inc, were selected for AEWE 2019 by the US DoD following impressive contract successes in the US. The AEWE, fielded by the US Army Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, focuses on small unit modernization, providing capability developers, the Science and Technology (S&T) community, and industry with a repeatable, credible, rigorous, and validated operational experiment, supporting both concept and material development. The AEWE places cutting edge prototype technologies into the hands of soldiers, providing bottom up input to capability development through early and iterative feedback in a tactical setting.

Successfully utilised and evaluated in a range of operational scenarios by AEWE 2019, Spectra’s game-changing SlingShot is a unique, lightweight frequency conversion device that enables existing, in-service tactical military and commercial VHF/UHF radios to utilize commercial L-band satellites in a TacSat mode. The technology delivers BLOS Comms on the Move (COTM) with low-latency voice and data connectivity to radio networks for ground, vehicle, maritime or airborne platforms, with or without Type 1 or commercial grade encryption. SlingShot’s unique capability provides reliable communications between widely dispersed military forces and/or First Responders operating in austere environments, without the delay or logistical challenges of deploying additional infrastructure.

Simon Davies, President of Spectra Group US said: “Spectra will be attending Satellite 2019 to build on our success within a focused group of US DoD users, as well as to open up new opportunities and to meet the market demand in the United States.” He added “Our US office is fully open for business. Our participation at Satellite 2019 is a natural progression following our recent participation in the Global SOF Symposium where we were able to validate our continuing commitment to developing and delivering technologies that meet the exacting demands of US and international Special Forces’ requirements.

Spectra and SlingShot will be on display at Satellite 2019 in Booth #2319.

Spectra Group (UK) wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise

April 23, 2019


Communications specialists, Spectra Group (UK), have received the highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for their innovative system, SlingShot®.

SlingShot is a small, low powered and lightweight system that delivers game-changing capabilities to existing military and first responder radio networks.  When connected to military or commercial UHF/VHF radios, Slingshot extends their range from Line of Sight to Beyond Line of Sight covering thousands of mile radius by utilising  the Inmarsat I-4 commercial satellite network L-TAC Service.  The system works by simply converting UHF or VHF radio frequency signals to the L-Band frequency used by the L-TAC Service and is the only product of its size that enables portable tactical beyond line-of-sight voice and data communications whilst on the move.

SlingShot’s unique capability offers military, emergency and disaster-relief agencies the ability to reliably communicate in remote and harsh environments without the need to rely on existing communications infrastructure or deploy additional communications infrastructure.  It also enables global interoperability between coalition forces and agencies using different radio systems, without the requirement, or need, to swap equipment and receive additional training.

Spectra’s innovation stemmed from a realisation in 2012 that there was a previously unutilised capability of the Inmarsat satellite that would have huge potential in both military and first responder sectors. Working closely with Inmarsat a working concept was developed and approved for use by the British military within weeks and production started in less than 9 months.

SlingShot is versatile enough to be used in aircraft, vehicles, maritime platforms and dismounted personnel. Spectra has since gone on to successfully market SlingShot globally providing a capability that has proved to be of critical importance and has undoubtedly contributed to the saving of lives.

With strong global sales and increasing recognition of SlingShot’s capabilities within the user community, Spectra Group opened a U.S. office in October 2018 and continue to expand their export footprint.

CEO Simon Davies commented “Working on the design, and building a business, supplying a product that has the ability to revolutionise communications in theatres of operation, not only for soldiers but emergency services and disaster areas is very satisfying.  As a former soldier in the Royal Corp of Signals, knowing that  the equipment we provide enables soldiers and first responders around the world to conduct operations with reliable and robust communications so that when they need to call for assistance, that they communicate, first time every time is  very motivating for me and my team.”

Spectra Group (UK) proud to once again support Britain’s Soldiering On Awards

April 11, 2019


The 2019 Soldiering On Awards, celebrating the achievements of the military community, took place on the 5th of April in London at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge Hotel.  The black-tie gala event was opened by the Awards’ Patron, the Rt Hon Earl Howe PC, Minister of State for Defence and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, and presented by TV personality Carol Vorderman MBE, Honorary Group Captain for the RAF Air Cadets, with former Royal Marine, John-James “JJ” Chalmers.  Soldiering On Awards’ Ambassador for the Arts, Carly Paoli, closed the evening with a performance in recognition of ‘Remembered: There But Not There’, honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War One.

Inspirational throughout, the evening focused on recognising the outstanding accomplishments of those who have served their country, as well as the individuals and groups who work tirelessly to support the Armed Forces Community as a whole.
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd was privileged to once again support the event by sponsoring the Sporting Excellence Award, recognising someone who has overcome their disability or injury to excel in the field of sport.   The remarkable individual who won this Award, presented by Rear Admiral Michael Bath, Naval Secretary, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel) and the Flag Officer Maritime Reserves, was Craig Monaghan.

Craig lost ten men from his company during a tour in Afghanistan, which also left him with a traumatic brain injury and two perforated ear drums.  Following three attempted suicides, Craig hit rock bottom.  Amazingly sport helped him to recover and then go on to support others facing similar challenges. Craig first represented the UK in the Warrior Games, then received international honours as a member of the English Deaf Rugby Team.  He has since helped more than 120 veterans back in to sport with a programme that he runs at Sale Sharks.

Craig said: “To win this award is huge for me. It sums up a journey which is still ongoing; one which has led me from Chicago to Bulgaria competing for England and Great Britain. There have been many people who have helped me along the way, almost too many to thank, so I will mention the pinnacle ones: Help for Heroes, Sport Recovery – they are a no brainer, I wouldn’t have found sport again if it wasn’t for them.  Also, England Rugby for the upmost support and obviously my employers, Sale Sharks, who have been unreal in their support. Thank you everyone!”

Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra group said: “Spectra Group is proud to be supporting the 2019 Soldiering On Awards.  Each year this event proves to be a great opportunity for us to give our thanks to the incredible people and businesses that are serving their country and the Armed Forces Community.  Although I can only present the Sporting Excellence Award to one winner, it is without a doubt that all of this year’s finalists deserve our utmost respect and praise.  We feel truly privileged to be able to hear their incredible stories and be a part of their celebrations.”

Arnold Defense rocket launchers on display at the 2019 Quad-A, Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit

April 8, 2019


Arnold Defense, the St Louis based manufacturer of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, will be at this year’s Quad-A, Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit taking place 14-16 April 2019 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Conference Center, Nashville, TN.

Arnold Defense will be showcasing two rocket launchers at the Summit; the 19-round M261 and their ultra-lightweight LWL-12 rocket launcher weighing in at just over 60 pounds (27 kg) empty.  The M261 will be displayed on a AH-6 Little Bird with CFD International, and the LWL-12 will be with Arnold Defense on stand #1151 and also mounted on a MD969 Combat Attack helicopter, the latest evolution of MDHI’s iconic MD 900/902 series.

Arnold Defense is the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels and vehicles; they have manufactured more than 1.2 million 2.75-inch (70mm) rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Armed Forces and a number of NATO customers.  They design and manufacture rocket launchers that can be customized for any size, weight, capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or at sea.

Arnold’s core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by U.S. Army helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser used by the U.S. Air Force. Their newest product, FLETCHER, is a 4-round laser target designated, ground-based rocket launcher; a unique concept and design that has seen exceptional levels of international interest.

Jim Hager, President and CEO of Arnold Defense said “2019 got off to a great start with the recent announcement of a contract that could be worth up to $74.3 million with the U.S. DoD along with ever-growing international, special operations interest in Arnold’s ground-based rocket launcher, FLETCHER. As recently announced, FLETCHER has just won it’s first order. We are very much looking forward to focusing on our core business at Quad-A; a forum we know well and where we aim to showcase our continued innovation and dedication to providing only the best weapons systems to today’s modern warfighters”.

Meet the Arnold Defense team on stand #1151 where you can see the LWL-12 and where Arnold Defense staff will be on hand to explain their systems to visitors and specific briefings and interviews can be facilitated.

See Arnold Defense’s LWL-12 rocket launcher on the MDHI MD969 at stand #3011, and the M261 on CFD International’s AH-6 Little Bird, both in the aircraft display at stand #1611.